tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 21, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
04/21/14 04/21/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! summer i saw spots where oil would pool up on the beaches and shorts. with all cleanup crews every day. i have been here since 1991. i've never seen our beaches look better. >> i expected our beaches to be messed up for a wild. itsee the effects of it, but is nice and clean. >> so says bp.
four years after the deepwater horizon drilling platform killed 11 workers, causing more than 200 million gallons of oil to spew into the gulf of mexico, the environmental protection agency has lifted a ban that excluded bp from new federal contracts. in a broadcast exclusive, will speak with elizabeth birnbaum who was director of the minerals management service in the interior department the time of the deepwater horizon blowout. she left soon after. she now says the risk of another blowout is real. then, rubin "hurricane" carter has died. he became an international symbol of racial injustice after spending 19 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction. >> this is unreal. this is what i sat in a cell hoping to happen. this is a dream come true. i've never had a dream in life that has not been realized.
never yet. earth limited on this simply by our own imagination. there's nothing we can't do. >> hurricane carter's ordeal with publicized -- was in the film starring denzel washington. we will speak with john artis, rubin "hurricane" carter's codefendant, and friends who cared for him until his death in canada. and with ken klonsky who cowrote, "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom." mandela wrote the forward. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration has again delayed a decision on approval or rejection of the keystone xl oil pipeline. the state department says it will await the results of legal challenges to the pipeline's proposed route through nebraska.
that means a final move will not likely come until after the midterm elections. it is now the third consecutive year the white house has put off a final ruling on the keystone xl's fate. the pipeline would carry tar sands oil from alberta to the gulf coast, and environmental say that would unleash a devastating amount of carbon into the atmosphere. anti-keystone xl protest is slated for washington, d.c. later this week when a coalition of ranchers, farmers, native groups stage "reject and protect," a weeklong encampment on the national mall. dozens of people have been killed in two consecutive days of u.s. drone attacks inside yemen. around 15 people died on saturday when the u.s. missile hit a road in the central province of al-bayda. around 25 people were killed into u.s. attacks on southern
areas on sunday. the victims were also described as suspected al qaeda militants. another drone attack was reportedly carried out earlier today, but details are unclear. violence broke out in eastern ukraine on sunday days after the truce between kiev and moscow. at least three people were killed when a shootout erupted at a check point in a town controlled by pro-russian separatists. the truce calls for the disarming and withdrawal of armed groups under international supervision. but a top separatist leader has said his forces are not bound by the deal, and little movement has been seen so far. at the white house, national security adviser susan rice appeared to suggest the u.s. could target russia's oil and gas sector if it's deemed to violate the truce. >> there other potential ways in the framework of our executive orders that we could impose should that be necessary. in the event of a dramatic
escalation, including the itsntial for russia to move forces on the border inside of ukraine, that those costs and sanctions could even include targeting very significant sectors of the russian economy. the on that, i'm not going to be specific. >> at least 33 people were killed in sunday -- on sunday in iraq. iraq is due to hold parliamentary elections early next month amidst its bloodiest period in six years. the latest figures show enrollment in private health plans under the affordable care act has topped 8 million. the nation's rate of uninsured is now at its lowest point since 2008, and a gallup poll shows up to 12 billion people have obtained coverage since the fall. at the white house, president obama touted figures showing over one third of enrollees are
under the age of 35, and premiums will cost 15% lower than predict did. but i find it strange the republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. they still can't bring themselves to admit the affordable care act is working. they said nobody would sign up. they were wrong about that. they said it would be unaffordable for the country. they were wrong. policy is immigration coming under increasing resistance at the state and local level. on friday, maryland announced it will no longer automatically hold prisoners at the request of immigration thing customs enforcement. the federal government has used the program secure communities to get local police forces to hand over immigrant detainees for their potential deportation. the baltimore city detention center says it will now only grant those requests if the immigrant detainee has been charged with or convicted of a
serious crime. sheriffs in nine oregon counties now say they will not comply with federal immigration detainers at all. the decision came after a state judge ruled an immigrant detainee's rights were violated. she was held for 19 hours after she should have been released so federal agents could take her into custody. the military trial of five alleged 9/11 conspirators could be in limbo amidst allegations of fbi spying on the defense team. fbi agents questioned a contractor working as a security guard for one of the suspects lawyers earlier this month. the contractor was forced to sign a confidentiality form, a move attorneys say turns him into a de facto informant. the military judge overseeing pretrial hearings has opened the way for an inquiry. prosecutors had hoped for jury selection to begin early next year, but the defense says the trials could be delayed until 2017.
attorney james connell said only one person appears to have come under fbi questioning so far. >> our preliminary investigation leads us to hope that it may be confined -- that we may have nipped this in the bud just after it started. is that going to turn out to be true? i don't know. so far, we don't have information that the investigation has spread beyond. allegationng on th follows previous claims by the attorneys that guantanamo bay prison officials have monitored their communications. a firets are behind police chief in south carolina who supporters say was targeted because she's a lesbian. chris still more had never received a single reprimanded 20 years on the job. but the mayor dismissed earlier this month after suddenly handed -- handing down several
reprimand and a single day. the mayor has been caught on tape making anti-lgbtq remarks, saying he would rather have a drunk person care for his job and someone who is gay. dozens of residents flooded the city council meeting last week demanding answers for the firing. moore says the wrist no explanation for her firing. but i can't believe we still have no equal rights. i've been harassed, intimidated, and this is the first time it has ever been this public. i have try to live a decent, quiet life and do what i'm supposed to. >> a group of alabama prisoners reportedly staged a work stoppage this weekend in protest of conditions at their prison. the free alabama movement says they call the strike at the st. clair correctional facility in to call attention a work system that forces them to conduct free labor. it is the second strike this year after a work stoppage in january. a federal judge has cleared the
way for landmark case against several major corporations accused of aiding south africa's apartheid regime. companies including ford and ibm are accused of complicity in human rights abuses during the years they did business in apartheid south africa. the role was filed by black victims of white minority rule. they're suing under the alien tort claims act, which allows foreigners to file cases against companies for crimes committed abroad. in a ruling last week, the district judge rejected the company's claim that previous rulings shield them from suits. and the celebrated boxer and prisoner rights activist rubin hurricane carter has died at the age of 76. carter became an international symbol of racial injustice after his wrongful murder conviction forced him to spend 19 years in prison before he was exonerated. since his release, carter championed the cause of wrongfully convicted prisoners. we will have more on rubin "hurricane" carter's life later
in the broadcast. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. sunday marked the fourth anniversary of what is thing called the worst man-made environmental disaster in recent history. it was april 20, 2010 when an explosion and fire on bps deepwater horizon drilling platform killed 11 workers and caused more than 200 million gallons of oil to spew into the gulf of mexico. today, oil continues to wash up on some of the beaches of louisiana, despite claims made by the gulf coast residents, featured in bps's television advertisements like this one. >> last summer i saw certain spots were oil would pull up on the beaches and the shores. we saw a clean up crew every day. in my opinion, it is as good as it's ever been. i've been here since 1991 and i've never seen our beaches look at her. bei expected our beaches to
messed up for a while and see the effects of it, but it is nice and clean as you can see. .> that is an ad by bp the oil company said it spent more than $14 billion responding to the spill and cleaning the coastline and recently announced it is ending its active cleanup in louisiana. similar operations ended last summer in alabama, florida, mississippi. last month, the environmental protection agency lifted a 2012 new excluding bp from federal contracts. the ban was put in place after the epa found the company failed to fully correct problems that led to the well blowout in 2010. bp had sued to have the suspension lifted. the consumer advocacy group public citizen said in a "lets at the settlement corporate felon and repeat offender off the hook for its crime against people and the environment." during an auction in new orleans, bp bid 40 two lane
dollars to win 24 new leases in the gulf of mexico. in a broadcast exclusive, were joined now by elizabeth birnbaum . she was director of the minerals management service at the time of the deepwater horizon blowout, and is now a consultant at seb strategies. she recently cowrote an op-ed for "new york times" headline, "the deepwater horizon threat." this is her first broadcast interview since she left the department of interior shortly after the bp spill. she joins us from washington, d.c. welcome. talk about this risk you have written about, four years after the bp spill. >> after the spill, there were investigations
into the spill and hot might be prevented in the future. one of the key reports was some of the national academy of engineering, experts on engineering, looked at all aspects of what had caused the spill on the that the decision-making on the oil rig, which had led to loss of control of the well. they also look at what happened with the blowout preventer. that is a huge piece of equipment that sits on the seafloor and is designed to do what its name says, stop the blowout as it comes up the well i'm a be able to cut off any oil and gas coming out of the well. what the national academy of engineering found was that the blowout preventer's are not actually well engineered to do that and found a number of failings within the blowout preventer's. the administration had several times indicated they were going to adopt new regulations to require low out preventers that would prevent this kind of an accident. but in fact, they never even put out a draft regulation. it is now 2.5 years since we are from the national academy of engineering.
>> and your response to the epa lifting that 2012 than on bp getting new federal contracts, they just bid for a bunch more? >> i believe the epa is bound by federal laws that allowed bp to go back in a business, but there are ongoing concerns about bp practices over the years. they were involved in the major texas chemical plant incident previously, so there are a number of questions about their business practices and certainly, it deserves a good look. >> can you talk about your controversial time with this blowout that occurred. you left soon after. the report says you are forced out just before you were to testify with ken salazar who was then head of the department of interior for congress. what happened at that time? love thet time, i administration at the request of
the interior secretary who asked for my resignation. since then, i've been monitoring what is been going on and trying to determine if there is a way to prevent future accidents of this kind. i thought any issues about my resignation were a distraction from what was really going on, which is why we did not know why the spill had occurred and needed to learn about it and take lessons from it. >> in a press statement, the company said it suspended $14 million and 70 million man-hours on the cleanup effort. it went on to say -- liz birnbaum, are you assured?
>> there are continuing reports about oil along the coast, particularly in the marshes. those are areas that are hard to reach him of the the areas that are the central to keeping louisiana's coastline intact. be deteriorating for years. there are reports there are still many miles of coastal marshes where you can find oil and where that is contribute into the death of the marshes. >> you have talked about the blowouts or the offshore wells that have lost control several times just in the last year. can you talk more about that? >> a few of these have been temporary losses of control where there was unexpected pressure coming off a well and the operator was able to get it under control fairly quickly. but there was at least one incident last year in july were natural gas well, which was not spewing oil, luckily did not pollute the gulf, but was
meeting high-pressure natural gas the caught on fire, copy rig on fire, and it took two days to put them out and to stop the flow of gas from the well. that is the kind of incident which a blowout preventer were similar device should be able to stop and it is the kind of incident the department of the interior should be trying to prevent three regulation. >> the administration's recent proposal to use these seismic airguns to search for oil along the atlantic coast? >> that is a new proposal to search for additional oil and gas. a just completed the environmental impact statement looking at that and determined the use of these seismic air vents, which basically him it huge sound explosions under c repeatedly over miles of survey area would have submit second impact on marine life and a particular cost thousands of deaths among dolphins and whales. the concern is the national
oceanic atmospheric administration is in the process of issuing new guidelines for exactly this kind of activity and how to avoid impact on dolphins and whales that came out in draft in december. the department of the interior should not be going forward with the new seismic testing until after noaa's new guidelines have been finalized. -- anyou have regrets regrets from your time at the department of interior, heading of the minerals management service? >> i have enormous regrets. most watch, we had the devastating accident we have had offshore where 11 men died and we had an enormous pollution event in the gulf of mexico, which is perhaps the worst environmental disaster in u.s. history. i believe we need to continue to work to make our regulation of off shoring oil and gas better, and to make sure we can prevent
incidents like that in the future. >> finally, the issue of the human factor, reducing the human factor. how do you do that? number ofere a reports which look at what happened on the rig when they made poor decisions, looked at the data from the well and decided they would ignore tests that suggested the well was and under control. those are decisions that were made probably because a very human factors about the fact they had discovered a huge reservoir of oil and wanted to move forward on a very quickly. the only solution to that is that monitoring by people who are not so intricately involved. the interior department has proposed having the data from the wells sent on shore to enter department personnel -- interior department personnel or any wells being drilled in the arctic. i don't understand why they haven't done that for any well in the gulf as well.
those are ones that have huge risks and if you simply had some of the onshore monitoring the data, you would know whether or not there were risky decisions being made on the rig. >> liz birnbaum, thank you for being with us on i this exclusive interview. she wrote the op-ed piece in "new york times" called, "the deepwater horizon threat." the co-author of the piece was jaclyn lopez, staff attorney with the center for biological diversity. she is joining us from tampa, florida from a pbs station wedu. what do think it's critical for us to understand right now on this fourth anniversary of the bp oil spill about the state of the environment now along the coast? >> good morning. first, i have to make a correction. i was not the co-author on that
"new york times" editorial, but we do have concerns about the health of the gulf. we all live here because of the remarkable diversity of wildlife that we have and we have remarkable ecosystems as well. we have marshes and coastal areas, open water and estuaries will stop what we learn from the deepwater horizon oil spill is that these types of events can be catastrophic for the environment will stop we still don't know the total damage in terms of its impact on the biodiversity of our ecosystems. obtainedthe recent bp and thent sales i testing, we don't know enough about these systems. we are going into deeper and deeper water. we still don't have a proven method for preventing this type of catastrophe from happening again in the future. >> talk about the state of wildlife, jacki. >> in the gulf of mexico, we have several different types of
endangered and threatened sea turtles, numerous marine mammals . we know the bottlenose dolphins have been hit particularly hard with the spill and other activities. the brown pelican was only the endangeredto species act. tuna and allfin 10 th kinds of reasons why people want to live your, and very few have to do with oil and gas development in the gulf. >> in 2012, the national oceanic senator and oil industry lobbyist j bennett johnson said they have yet to connect the sick dolphins and the bp oil spill. this is former senator johnston speaking on al jazeera.
>> there was damage to the dolphins before the spill. damage after the spill, and they think there might be a connection between the spill and the dolphins, but it has not been established at all. >> that is former senator, now oil lobbyist been a johnston of louisiana. your response to that, jacki? 4.9n addition to the million barrels that were spilled, we also know there are about half a million to 1.5 million girls betters build -- barrels that are spilled annually. we have these ongoing impacts in the gulf of mexico and while perhaps the findings aren't conclusive, it would be difficult to surmise that the qlogic affect of the different oil and gas activities aren't harming the wildlife. thean you talk about
lifting of the ban on bp applying for other drilling contacts -- contracts now? >> right, so we have seen bp has the history of struggling with telling the truth in terms of the amount of oil that was billed the the deepwater horizon . even more recently with the spill and lake michigan. bp seems to struggle with its ambition and keeping its oil and gas activities sort of within the bounds of what is safer the environment and for humans. it has repeatedly demonstrated to the american public that it can't be trusted to be acting in our best behalf. the request to epa to reinstate it on behalf of the american public that is recognize that bp simply can't be trusted to continue to do this. >> can you talk about the petitions he delivered?
>> right. that petition is asking the epa to reinstate the suspension against the bp. following the deepwater horizon spill, epa temporally suspended bp while it was investigating the deepwater horizon oil spill. a few months back, bp been sued epa to lift the suspension so they reached an agreement which resulted in a five year probation for bp and then a few weeks ago, we had this other spill and lake michigan were about 1600 gallons -- it just further illustrates bp is unprepared to deal with the oil and gas development activities. >> jaclyn lopez, it is four years later. how do you think bp should be held accountable? >> we think the american people have spoken and the petition was signed by over 50 organizations
representing millions of americans which was independently signed by another 66,000 people who all recognize that bp needs to be held accountable by being prohibited from future contracts with the american government. >> i want to thank you for being with us, jaclyn lopez, staff attorney with the center for biological diversity, speaking to us from tampa, florida. when we come back, rubin "hurricane" carter has died. he became a symbol of racial injustice when he was in prison for 19 years, ultimately, exonerated. he spoke out around the world against wrongful imprisonment. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> woody guthrie. sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the ludlow massacre. centennial marks the of the ludlow massacre, when the national guard machine gunned a tent colony of striking miners in southern colorado. "remember ludlow" became a battle cry of the nascent mineworkers movement. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the rest of the hour today looking at the life and legacy of rubin "hurricane" carter, who became an international symbol of racial injustice after his wrongful murder conviction forced him to spend 19 years in prison before he was exonerated. carter died on sunday at the age of 76. many americans originally knew carter as one of the most dynamic prizefighters in boxing's golden era.
the 1961 to 1966, middleweight fighter had a record 28 wins, 11 losses, and one draw. but all of that came to an abrupt end when carter was arrested for triple murder in his hometown of paterson, new jersey. even as he asserted his innocence, the african-american boxer was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. in 1974, rubin "hurricane" carter wrote his autobiography from prison. it was called "the 16th round: from number one contender to number 45472." later, the new jersey state supreme court overturned the conviction on grounds of the authorities withheld material evidence from the defense. carter was convicted again in a second trial in 1976. in 1985, that conviction was overturned by u.s. district court judge, who concluded the state made an unconstitutional appeal to racial prejudice. in 1988, the passaic new jersey
prosecutor's office dropped all charges against carter. while in prison, carter was fiercely outspoken, refusing to subject himself to its regimens. he shunned the prison's food, insisted on keeping his gold watch, and refused to wear prison issued clothes. his ordeal was publicized in bob "hurricane,"song several books, and a 1990 nine film starring denzel washington, who received an academy award nomination for playing the boxer turned prisoner. >> carter is a slave name that was given to my forefathers and passed on to me. hurricane is the professional name that i acquired later on in life. one thing i could do and the only thing i could do was box. >> can you believe that black punk? he thinks he's champion of the world. >> any to will do.
>> look carefully, are these the two men that shot you? >> he said no. >> take another look, son. >> rubin carter, your sentenced to be imprisoned for the remainder of your natural life. >> i'm innocent. i've committed no crime. a crime has been committed against me. i'm dead. just very meet, please -- just bury me, please. ♪ book,huh?irst >> you know what, sometimes we don't pick the books we read, they pick us. >> mr. carter. i've read your book.
i would like to come and visit you. think i killed those people, son? >> two juries found him guilty. >> but he is innocent. it ain't right. >> it is important to transcend the places that hold us. not leaving without you. >> i'm 50 years old. >> your honor, this case was built on a foundation of lies. >> 20 years spent locked up in a cage. justice is all i ask. hate put me in prison. love is going to bust me out. >> the trailer for the film "the hurricane." died inurricane" carter his home in toronto on sunday following a battle with prostate cancer. to discuss his legacy, we're joined by john artis, the
codefendant and friend of carter. he has been caring for him since he fell ill. we welcome you to democracy now! condolences to you as you are with rubin carter to the end. talk about the significance of rubin carter's struggle against wrongful incarceration. >> good morning and thank you for the condolences. was a davidily against goliath of the judicial system. ed injustice, unfairness, and any type of behavior action the people who could not afford to speak out or fight against -- he felt like he had to champion their causes. >> talk about how you met rubin "hurricane" carter. >> i met him because we happened andnow the same family
paterson, new jersey. i was at the home one evening with my friend when he arrived. i was briefly introduced to him at that time. but he was in a person that i palled around with. he was in a different -- he was a professional athlete. i was a well-known high school athlete. we chose different sports. he boxed and i played football, basketball, and ran track. actually, i had one a track scholarship to colorado state prior to our arrest. >> talk about what happened on 1986 when you and hurricane carter were stopped by police. >> 1966. this was shortly, maybe two weeks after i had initially met rubin. i saw him in town and i asked him to give me a ride to popular
club, which he did. at the conclusion of the evening, i asked him to give me a ride home. he said, ok. but if you is going to take me home, i would have to drive will stop on the way out of the club, another individual ask rubin if you get a ride. the three of us got into his car. the first, rubin wanted to go to his home. while he was directing me how to get to his home, which is on the east side of paterson, we are stop by the police. as you see in the film, an officer walked up and wanted to see my license and registration. when he noticed rubin he said, champ, i did not see you there. rubin said, what's the problem? he said, we are looking for two negroes, but there were three of us in the car. they permuted us to leave. took us to his own.
i took the guy that was in the car with us, i drove him home first and then i was on will the way to take my cell phone -- then i was on my way to take myself home and we are stop at the same police officer at an intersection and paterson and he did not even bother to tell his reinforcements or the support of other police officers that are right that he had already seen as an or three people in the car and now there are only two. at that juncture, they took us to the scene of the crime and that was the beginning of the nightmare. >> and use all this horror, the scene of the crime. >> well, they made us get out of the car and this crowd of people that had gathered there, and made us stand up against the wall of the tavern. while we were standing there, they began to bring out sheet covered bodies to be put into ambulances and such. in a patrol wagon pulled up and we were taken to police headquarters. >> talk about that first trial.
you ended up in jail for 15 years. ultimately, talk about the judge and his role. >> well, i had never been in trouble. the death penalty was the penalty that was being sought in this trial. we have been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill. the trial lasted for six weeks. my name was only mentioned once. that was by the alleged two star witnesses for the state. at the conclusion of six weeks, the jury would into the deliberation room and they only stayed for hours and came back. when they returned, no one was looking at us. the women were crying. since it was first-degree murder case, it is the only time in new jersey law that the jury decides
your sentence. --when the foreman stated stood up and stated that we the jury find the defendant's rubin guilty, myjohn artis knees buckled. that is the most afraid i've ever been a my entire life. the next damon out of his mouth would determine exactly what was going to happen to us -- the next statement out of his mouth would determine exactly what was going happened was. stated, with a recommendation for mercy. had he not, we would have been put on death row. >> you said in another interview, rubin, was always the guy in the background and the other guy in the case that no one knew or cared about. >> yes, they did not want me. the intent and effort was to get rubin. the police stated that all you have to do is just say that it was rubin carter and we will let you go. but i refused to do that. they tried the same thing 10
years later. a refused to do that. when they walked me out of prison into my father's home and prefaced a statement, when i walked through the door that, we know you did not kill anyone, but we think you were there and/or you knew about it. so just sign a statement that says rubin carter's the one that committed the crime, and we will let you go. we will get you out of prison. and i refuse to do it at that time as well. >> john artis, can you talk about the day you and rubin "hurricane" carter were alternately freed? >> i was free before rubin. i was released on parole in 1981. which was totally unprecedented the way i was released. date date release and that was because during 1971, we had a riot in the new jersey prison. i released the hostages that were being held against the
population was deciding whether they should release them or kill them. i did not think that was too good of an idea with the parking lot teeming with all types of police officers and law enforcement from all around the state. and the only thing that was precluding them from coming in were the lives of these hostages. so the state of new jersey, the department of corrections, changed my status from maximum to minimum and allowed me to attend college. i got a degree in business administration. days, whiched in 11 normally, it would've been 18 months, 24 months, or 36 months, he either rehearing or release date. rubin got out for your letter when the judge granted a writ of habeas corpus stating in his opinion that the case was
predicated out of racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure. >> were you in the courtroom when he was released? >> i most certainly was. >> describe that moment. >> you could have heard a pin drop when the judge came back in to read his opinion -- his ruling. of new jerseys were totally uncomfortable because they weren't prepared to deal with the case in federal court. they assumed the judge would not hear it, and he did. once he told them this case was the most egregious violation of constitutional rights that he had witnessed in all his years on the bench, i knew a good thing was going to happen. and when he released rubin and said that the writ of habeas , and the granted defendant is released on his own
recognizance, iran and herbal be bar that separated the audience from the defendant sought to give rubin a hug. >> john artis, you gave up everything to move to canada to care for rubin "hurricane" carter as he died of cancer. why? >> well, rubin has always felt responsible for me, bite me being ensnared in a trap they had for him -- by me being ensnared in a trap a hat for him to be incarcerated forever. he really wished it had never happened. so over the 48 years i have known rubin, we have cared for each other and protected each other and supported each other in anything that we had to do. to me, it is a display of what i believed the definition of a friend is and that is loyalty.
i am loyal to my friends. rubin has been loyal to me and i have been loyal to rubin. it was a no-brainer that now that he needed help, since he was always helping others, that it was incumbent upon me to go and help my partner. >> both of you could have been put on death row, as you said at the beginning, but ultimately were exonerated. >> yes. yes, we could have. >> we're joined by ken klonsky book,wrote with rubin the "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom." nelson mandela wrote the forward. ken klonsky works for the innocence international founded by dr. rubin hurricane carter. you brought the book with you. thank you for joining us from vancouver. you brought the book with you to read some of hurricanes words. i was wondering if you might do that now. >> ok.
passageng to read a where he was asked what his legacy would be after his death. hadday a few seasons ago, just finished speaking to a group of people at a toronto high school when a young woman in the audience stood up and asked me how i wanted my life to be remembered. i had to pause a long moment because i've never given the question the moment thought. when i did think about it, i realized that the way people remember me doesn't really matter. what really matters is how i remember myself. the act of self remembering that saved me from perdition. but given the opportunity, i answered her question like this -- i was a prizefighter at one point in my life. i was a soldier at one point in my life. i was a convict and one point in my life.
i was a jailhouse lawyer at one point in my life. i was executive director of aidwic the one point my life, a black angel. today, i am the ceo of innocence international. i have been a writer and dr. of laws. i do many things and have many things still yet to be. but if i had to choose an epitaph to be carved up on my tombstone, it was simply read -- he was just enough. he was just enough to overcome everything that was laid on him on this earth. he was just enough not to give up on himself. he was just enough to believe in himself beyond anything else in this world. he was just enough to have the courage to stand up for his convictions no matter what problems is action may have caused him. he was just enough to perform a miracle, to wake up to escape the universal prison of sleep and to regain his humanity in a
livinghell. he was just enough. and so, my young friend, are you just enough." reading the book that he wrote with rubin "hurricane" carter called, "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom." nelson mandela wrote the forward. why nelson mandela? how did he get involved with this case? had think the two of them parallel existences. i would not put rubin in the category of nelson mandela, obviously, but they both were incarcerated in a sense that they were incarcerated unjustly. and they both rose above the confines that they were in to the point where the jailers, the people who looked after them and
oppress them, has so much respect for them that they left them alone. it is an extraordinary human integrity that both of them had. and mandela recognize that in rubin. token, i want to turn carter's work up until his death on behalf of david mccallum, a convicted murderer who spent 29 years in prison. he was the focus of a piece carter wrote just months ago in february that ran in "the new york daily news." he is also the focus of a new documentary made by your son called "david and me." rayhis clip, we hear from klosnky. and then carter. >> they said they had seen a body. it was that moment they slapped me in the face. confessed. >> these teenagers had no chance
with professional interrogators. >> and that was rubin at the end. your last comment ,ken, about this case? was him alonglum with a friend of his, similar to , whom youjohn artis just interviewed. casewere taken in in a where there was no evidence whatsoever that they did the crime. they were forced -- they were forced a 16-year-old kids to confess to something they did not do. certainly, dr. carter's righteous anger against prosecutors forced him, in a sense, urged him to get involved in this case because he saw himself and he's all the way prosecutors can twist the truth for their own ambitions.
that was the one thing in life that made him exceptionally angry. >> we are going to leave it there. ken klonsky, thank you for being with us. your book with rubin "hurricane" carter, "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom." and john artis speaking to us from toronto, rubin "hurricane" carter plus codefendant and friend who dropped everything to spend the last years with rubin "hurricane" carter, caring for him in those last days. ken klonsky speaking to us from vancouver. when we come back from break, we are going to hear rubin "hurricane" carter in his own words. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
the boxer passed away sunday the age of 76. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. spoke"hurricane" carter at queen's university in canada decades ago, in 1994 in a few years after his release from prison. he talked about the importance of literacy, the power of reading and writing in his own life, as well as the life of the lawyer who helped secure carter's release from prison, lezra martin. this is a part of his address. >> it is a pleasure for me to be here at queen's university. it truly is. history asven my we've seen, it is a pleasure for me to be anywhere. [laughter] invited here to
you thatt i can tell speaking is not always been easy for me. years of myt 18 life, i do terrible speech impediment. i could not talk. i stuttered badly. i cannot say two clear words that made any sense to anybody else but me. and people laughed at me because of it. i felt stupid. i really, really felt dumb. and when they laughed, the only sound they would here would be my fist whistling through the air. do i hear laughter out there?
[laughter] my fist did my talking. now, that stopped the laughter for a while. , but it also got me into serious trouble. it did not solve the problem. i still could not talk. being stuck in a state of frustration all the , was my first experience of being locked away in a prison. prisons andre are there are prisons. , butmay look different they are all the same. they are all confining. they all limit your freedom. they all lock you away, grind
you down, and take a terrible toll on your self-esteem. bricksre prisons made of , steel, and mortar. and then there are prisons without visible walls, a prison of poverty, illiteracy, and racism. people often, the condemned to these metaphorical prisons -- poverty, racism, and illiteracy -- end up doing double time. that is, they wind up in the physical prisons as well. healthy,as reasonable, intelligent human beings is to recognize the effectiveness and
the sameness of all these prisons, and then do something about them. is noe any kind of prison friend of mine. it brings out the hurricane in me. connection to imprisonment is obvious. but less apparent is the impact that literacy, reading, and writing, books and words, have had on my life. years whenyears and books were my only friends. and because i was able to write my own book, "the 16th round," and because lezra was literate , i wasto read it
literally set free. now, that is the awesome power of the written word. ra and i grew up in what can only be described as war zones. the third world in the heart of the world's mightiest nation. like's neighborhood looks justin after the second world war. burned-out buildings everywhere. rublle spilling out over the sidewalks. in the people's expressions reflecting the destitution of their surroundings. lezra had toson learn was not his abcs, but how
to duck under the nearest part car -- parked car at the first sound of a loud noise. gunfire. he never knew whether he would survive the trip to school or from school. , he went therep th every day. >> rubin "hurricane" carter speaking at queen's university in canada in 1994 a few years after his release from prison. the man he was talking about, lezra martin, was a lawyer who helped secure carter's release from prison. here the full speech, go to democracynow.org.
>> coming up on "california country," find out why being called an avocado head is actually a good thing for these folks. then, they're getting figgy with it in fresno. and have questions on what to grow in your garden? never fear, our expert has the answers. it's all ahead, and it starts now. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] creamy, rich, and decadent, avocados have become a staple for many of us. according to the california avocado commission, about 43% of all u.s. households buy avocados regularly now. so when you think of avocados, you probly think of this, right? guacamole. but today farmers and chefs are proving